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Lane shifts are required for I-85 widening, I-485 interchange projects

CHARLOTTE -Motorists traveling on I-85 between north Charlotte and Concord will notice new traffic patterns associated with two construction projects aimed to improve travel through the Metrolina region. The traffic shifts are expected to remain in place until spring 2013.

The contractor, Lane Construction, is working to widen 6.8 miles of I-85 from south of Bruton Smith Boulevard (Exit 49) to N.C. 73 (Exit 55), in addition to building new interchanges at Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) and N.C. 73. The other project includes converting the existing I-85/I-485 interchange to meet the final leg of I-485 in northeast Charlotte. Clearing work has already started on the final 5.7 miles of the Outer Loop.

The contractor has implemented the following lane shifts on I-85 North and South:

I-85/I-485 Interchange:

  • Traffic heading north on I-85 is shifted toward the median approaching Mallard Creek Church Road (Exit 46) to Bruton Smith Boulevard; and
  • Traffic heading south on I-85 is also shifted toward the median just south of the Bruton Smith Boulevard bridge to south of the on ramp from I-485 Outer to I-85 South.

I-85 Widening:

  • Northbound traffic from Bruton Smith Boulevard to N.C. 73 will remain shifted to the outside lanes;
  • Southbound traffic is shifted to the outside lanes from N.C. 73 to Bruton Smith Boulevard;
  • The contractor is building a temporary work bridge north of Poplar Tent Road for heavy equipment to haul materials into the median, minimizing impact to interstate traffic. The bridge will also feature a ramp in each direction to access the median. The bridge was built with materials used on other projects, with the exception of stone used for abutments, and concrete used to pour for end bents of the new bridge.
  • Clearing is underway for future bridge construction at the Poplar Tent Road interchange. Clearing will begin soon on N.C. 73.

NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter at Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type "" into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

For more information, please contact the resident engineer at (704) 983-4171.


2/13/2018 4:26 PM